Five Symptoms of Skinny Problems

Skinny Thinking

As the world becomes more integrated and more complex, the importance of using Design Thinking increases. However, it’s not always needed. Some problems are simple. They’re skinny problems because they can be solved with a narrow focus. These problems don’t really need design thinking.

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Here are five symptoms of simple or skinny problems:

1 Easily Solved

When you spill the milk you grab a cloth and clean it up. Then you buy some more. No use crying over something as simple as this!

2 Solved with a narrow focus

When you have a loose screw you need to direct your attention to slotting your screwdriver into the head of the screw and turning it in the right direction. Ignore everything else.

3 Cause and Effect Are Obvious

Skinned your knee? I’m betting you fell over. With skinny problems we can easily see what caused it.

4 Easily Contained

If you did skin your knee, then it’s a knee/skin problem. You usually won’t have to check your blood sugar levels, your bank balance or scan your computer for viruses. It’s clear what’s relevant and what’s not.

5 Belong to a Single Domain

A maths problem as simple as 2+2 is going to be solved with a maths solution. It’s not about philosophy, science or history.

Source: Book Rapper, Wicked Thinking. Derived from Eric Knight’s book Reframe.


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